75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank review

The lowest-priced set of the Rogue One wave introduces a new vehicle to the LEGO Star Wars universe. But can 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank win over fans still salty about last year’s similar First Order Snowspeeder?

Price: £29.99 / $29.99 / €39.99 Pieces: 385 Available: Now

The entry-level System-scale Rogue One set brings a brand new vehicle to the table, alongside two brand new minifigures. And with 385 bricks in the box for just shy of thirty notes, it seems – on paper – like a recipe for success.

Yet, when comparing the Rogue One wave with last year’s Force Friday releases, the most obvious parallel is the much-derided 75100 First Order Snowspeeder. They’re both slabs of hovering grey, after all. But where 75100 was almost completely cut from The Force Awakens, the Imperial Assault Hovertank has already made a significant appearance in promotional images and footage for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The Hovertank in all its glory.
The Hovertank in all its glory.

In that regard, it’s a much safer bet already, but as we’re still a couple of months out from the film’s release, it’s best to judge 75152 on its own merits anyway. The vehicle’s similarities to a traditional, real-world tank are immediately obvious, although it represents quite a departure from anything else we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe – partly due to how square it is.

That blocky nature translates to LEGO form well, of course, although the tank is far from a flat build – in fact, there’s plenty of textural bricks in the box, making the set a decent parts pack too. 1×2 bricks with grooves, grills and 2×2 jumper plates all help to give the vehicle a little more character. The build is straightforward enough, with the vehicle constructed in modules that then attach via Technic pins.

The top cockpit fails to capture the on-screen vehicle's opening hatch.
The top cockpit fails to capture the on-screen vehicle’s opening hatch.

At this scale, the set can be forgiven for omitting the cockpit’s front hatch, where a pilot’s head so gracefully pops out, but less forgivable is the way the main cockpit opening is handled. The trapdoor mechanism means the whole top has to lift off to allow a trooper or pilot to peek out – rather than the 4×4 round plate simply opening on a hinge, which would be far more accurate to the vehicle as seen so far.

If you’re not fussed about having full access to the interior – which is barren anyway, aside from a single pilot’s seat – fixing this section of the tank is possible, but it’s a shame this feature wasn’t included as standard. It would certainly have lent the set more display opportunities, and reflected at least the promotional material properly.

Like the U-wing, which we’ll review later this week, the Hovertank’s spring-loaded shooters are well hidden in its body. Turning the two Technic knobs on either side will fire them, but even if you leave the ammo out, the knobs themselves simply add further textural detail to the vehicle. There’s space for an additional orange crate on the set’s rear – perhaps one that includes the Death Star plans, for those paying attention – but we’ll have to wait for the January wave to get our hands on that.

Chirrut may be blind, but he can still handle a staff.
Chirrut may be blind, but he can still handle a staff.

The two pilot minifigures add even more variety to your Imperial ranks, though the design again marks a departure from previous Imperial helmet pilots, perhaps more closely resembling a cross between traditional Stormtroopers and the Clone Wars’ ARF Troopers.

Chirrut Îmwe is the named character of the set – indeed, you’ll need to pick up the whole range (almost) if you want the full Rogue One crew. Like most of his fellow rogues, Chirrut sports massive rear-mounted equipment, but it captures the character’s look perfectly – along with his obligatory staff, of course (because even though there aren’t any Jedi in Rogue One, the temptation to add some kind of physical, sword-based combat was apparently too much to resist).

So, how does 75152 shape up as an entry-level set? It’s £10 more expensive than the cheapest set in The Force Awakens’ inaugural wave, but – aside from a slight niggle with the cockpit – it’s worth every penny. With three of five sets down, the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story range is on course to be one of the single greatest product waves the LEGO Group has released so far – at least in a galaxy far, far away.

75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank is available now from shop.LEGO.com. You can help support Brick Fanatics’ work by using our affiliate links. Don’t forget to check out our previous Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reviews, including 75153 AT-ST and 75156 Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle.

This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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